Mary Lou Andre
Monday, 20 March 2017

Dressing Well's Top Ten Fashion Picks for Women: Spring 2017

By Mary Lou Andre

Spring is officially here and our consultants are busy helping their private clients get their closets in order and shopping prioritized for the busy season ahead. If you are looking for personal assistance to help you pull together your own wardrobe, please let us know. We offer both in-person and virtual consultations. We also present our message to employees and membership organizations.

Here are ten looks for spring that are inspiring us. Hope they inspire you as well. Enjoy!

#1 The White Jacket
Instantly brightens casual and dressy looks for spring and summer. The fabric dictates the formality.

#2 Embroidery
Adds artisan, floral flair to both apparel and accessories.

#3 Skirts with Pockets
They are the centerpiece of many contemporary looks.

#4 Black & White Inspirations
Florals, geometric patterns and polka dots stand out in black and white. They mix well with one another too.

#5 The Flounce Sleeve
Dresses, blouses, coats and jackets wear this trend well.

#6 Lariats and Tassels
Adore (and adorn!) them this season.

#7 The White Shirt Revisited
Waist, sleeve and collar interest give them an interesting twist.

#8 The Saddle Bag
Macro (and mini) styles are abundant. Crossbody styles are the most popular.

#9 Ankle Straps
They add a dose of extra drama to all types of high heels and even more utilitarian function to flats and other sensible shoes.

#10 The Sailor Pant
The traditional high-waist and buttons remain the same. The devil is in the leg detail, giving them a range of ways to wear them both day and night.

Click to Share:

About the Author

Mary Lou Andre

Mary Lou Andre is a nationally recognized wardrobe, dress code and corporate image consultant, speaker and author. She is founder and president of Organization By Design, Inc., a Needham, Massachusetts-based wardrobe management, fashion and image consulting firm that helps individuals and organizations understand the power of being appropriately dressed in a variety of situations.

Learn more about Mary Lou » 


Pat 2017-03-21 11:13

Thanks, Mary Lou! Getting your take on fashion or style is always "so special"

Your longtime fan,

Mary Lou 2017-03-21 11:37

Awwwww...Pat, you always put a smile on my face. Thank you for being such a positive and lovely person. Best to you.

JANA JOHNSEN 2017-03-21 11:37

Great Blog MaryLou! Ironically, just picked up the blue shoes above but by nine west! White jacket - check - Ankle Straps - check - Lariats and Tassels - check . . . Great inspiration for more shopping. Thank you so much - Jana

Mary Lou 2017-03-21 11:45

If I recall you have the skirts with pockets too! Add a flounce sleeve and some embroidery and you will be all set. You have great STY (what my teens would say!) Thanks for putting me in touch with Poshmark -- I am having a ball with that ap -- I feel like a tech whiz.

Mary 2017-03-21 11:45

In #2, it is flair, not flare, unless you mean a conflagration !

SabinaG 2017-03-21 11:52

Oh boy, definitely not the type of "spark" we're looking to ignite! Thanks for the heads up, Mary!

Marjorie W. 2017-03-21 19:54

Hello, Mary Lou,

We met about 16 years ago in a networking group, and I have been following your wonderful company grow ever since.
Congratulations on a job well done.

I do have a question for you. My 16 year old daughter, who is quite fashionable, is going to be attending her
first high school trip this spring. She and some fellow students will be attending an international
health conference in Montreal this May. She needs to dress appropriately for the environment and the weather, but doesn’t want to
look like an old-fashioned business woman. She is very petite (5 feet) and slim.

I have suggested the following pieces. Please let me know if you agree, and what else you might suggest.

1. Cropped black blazer. I thought she could pair it with a white tee and jeans for sight-seeing, and wear over dresses for the conference.
2. White trench coat: This could also go over dressy and casual clothes, and layers easily with sweaters, etc.
3. A few simple, sleeveless sheathe dresses and/or a simple dress with short or 3/4 sleeves if it is chilly.
4. Slim black pants that she could layer with blouses, sweaters, etc.
5. Shoes: Possibly wedges or booties that are comfortable for walking on cobblestones and/or trekking from meeting room to meeting room.

Do you agree? What other suggestions can you offer?
Thanks so much!

Warm regards,

Mary Lou 2017-03-22 08:25

Hi Marjorie --
I love what you have chosen for your daughter. A few quick things:
I'd probably swap out the white trench for a tan trench -- still a light color but won't get quite as dirty.
A wedge heel is a must. I suggest also adding a ballet flat as a second shoe.
Finally, I always travel with a scarf for warmth and flair. A pattern with black, cream, tan and a color she loves would be my pick to pull everything together.
Hope she has a blast. Great to hear from you too!
Mary Lou

Paula 2017-03-22 07:53

Mary Lou, I always look forward to receiving your note. You inspire me to clean out the closet and restock with the latest fashion. Thanks for all you do.

Mary Lou 2017-03-22 08:27

Glad to be of service!
Time to pack winter away and get ready for the glorious season ahead!

Mary McCormick 2017-03-23 11:49

Loving most of what I'm seeing, especially the comeback of sailor pants. I'm wondering if the flounce sleeve isn't being a bit overdone, much like the 'cold shoulder' tops. It's very cute but seems a bit too trendy for my spring wardrobe. Adding a few colorful tassels seems like a great way to embrace the trend and brighten up an outfit without a huge investment.
It's great to see longer hem lines in skirts & dresses! When they were last in fashion my sister said she didn't like them because she felt like she was wearing a big rectangular bag. Perhaps in a future post we might see some tips on how to style these trends for different body types.

Mary Lou 2017-03-23 16:24

Glad you liked our list. The "flounce" is everywhere -- I personally like it better than the "cold shoulder. "
Your sister is correct -- fit is the most important piece of the puzzle when it comes to pulling together any look. If she likes the newer skirts, I suggest she start with a brand that typically works for her and go from there.
I've made a mental note of your request about more flatter your figure tips -- thanks!

Paula 2017-05-04 08:36

Can you help me with the ankle length pants. I am 5'9" and am having difficulty finding ankle length pants that are long enough. What is the proper length for ankle pants, should they fall above the ankle or below the ankle.


Mary Lou 2017-05-04 12:27

Hi Paula --

At 5'9'' I suggest Theory as a good brand for you. They cut their pants long. Classique (Nordstrom house brand) is also a go-to for our tall clients.

To properly wear the ankle length trend of the moment, you want to eliminate any "pooling" at the ankle so at or just above the ankle is the proper place for them to end. You want a clean, fluid line. In my opinion, best part about this trend is that it gives you plenty of shoe choices. I love a pointy toe pump with this look -- go as high as you want with the heel. Flats work too but do diminish the elegant look and feel. If you want a flatter shoe with a cropped trouser for comfort (even commuting), we suggest still having a slight lift in the heel. A wedge is usually what we recommend in this situation. If you want to wear a crop pant more casually, you can wear them with anything from sneakers to platform sandals. At your height, be careful with proportions. Make sure the top half of your outfit balances the rest. Good luck. I could not live without my black and cream crop trousers for work this spring or my white denim crop pants (with fringe!) for weekends.

Julie Dennehy 2017-05-30 13:53

These are such wonderful and creative tips, Mary Lou... shared on my FB feed too! I love the flounce, the lariat necklaces and especially the embroidery detailing as a child of the 70s. :) Great post.

MaryAndre 2017-05-30 15:21

Thanks, Julie! We can always count on you to help us spread the word!
Mary Lou


Add comment

Comments are now closed for this article.